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Local history for schools

Local history for schools

Education event
School visit exploring a chosen topic. Image (c) David Charlton
We work with local schools to help pupils to explore their heritage. We offer:

Local history visits for schools 

We offer school visits using our collections to explore a chosen topic. Visits are led by an experienced heritage librarian.

School visits about the Great Fire of Gateshead are available at St Mary's Heritage Centre. The sessions include a tour of Gateshead Quays (weather permitting) and incorporate material from Gateshead Local Studies collection.

Costs for our education sessions (duration up to two hours) start at £78. 

Contact us at to book a session or to find out more.  

School visit programme

What is Gateshead Archive?

Gateshead Archive houses thousands of rare and important items about the history of Gateshead. Material dates back over 400 years and includes books, maps, newspapers and photographs.

People are now able to browse collections in the exciting new visitor facility at Gateshead Central Library. Large touch screens give access to historic maps, photographs and other rare documents previously unseen.

School visits

A new school visit about the Industrial Revolution in Gateshead will allow children to explore our collections.

The visits are intended for KS2 pupils and link to the following National Curriculum areas:

  •  A local history study: a study over time tracing how several aspects of national history are reflected in the locality
  • a study of an aspect of history that is significant in the locality

Children will use our collections to understand the meaning of the Industrial Revolution. They will compare Gateshead before and afterwards, find information about key industries in the area and investigate the positive and negative effects of the Industrial Revolution.

Visits are led by an experienced heritage librarian.

Booking and costs

Visits during the 2021/2022 school year are free of charge with support from National Lottery Heritage Funding (standard cost of Gateshead Libraries school session £100).

Demand is already high and visits are offered on a first come first served basis so booking is recommended as soon as possible.

To book email or call 0191 433 8420.

Local history teaching resources 

We also have a range of downloadable teaching resources that explore the local area:

Gateshead and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Gateshead is determined to acknowledge its African and African descended residents throughout the ages. With Lottery funding we have carried out research to uncover the lives of African descended people in Gateshead. The research into the earliest records has revealed documents relevant to people who were enslaved. This evidence has been presented here in our first publication about Gateshead and the Transatlantic Trade in Enslaved Africans - intended for schools.

Our next publication will provide balance to this topic by focusing on later residents and visitors with lives much broader that this experience of enslavement.  

Download our booklet which includes documents from the Archive and ideas for sharing the research in the classroom. For upper key stage 2 and for key stages 3 and 4. (PDF) [3MB] (opens new window)

Coatsworth Road resource pack 

Coatsworth Road is a fascinating and historic high street in Bensham. In 2013, a Heritage Lottery Grant was awarded to Gateshead Council to support the development and conservation of this important road. As part of this initiative, learning resources were developed by 22 Sheds CIC to support schools to engage in the history of their local area.

Download Our Coatsworth Road resource pack (PDF) [7MB]

Search for images of Coatsworth Road at

Women in Politics 

With funding from Historic England, St Mary's Heritage Centre on Gateshead Quays has researched 10 amazing women of regional significance who over the past 100 years have 'made a difference' in politics.

Download our poster (PDF) [878KB]

Download a PDF booklet that includes ideas for learning activities and where to research further details (PDF) [1MB]

First World War 

Download our free schools learning pack (PDF) [7MB]  for key stage 2/3 based on the experiences of real-life soldier from Gateshead, George Wood.

You can also search the Gateshead Roll of Honour online, a list of most of the men from central Gateshead who were killed in the First World War. 

Gateshead Libraries

Central Library, Prince Consort Road, Gateshead NE8 4LN
0191 433 8410

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